39-year-old Manchester, England-based Stanley Chow has been working as an illustrator since he left art school…eighteen years ago. While DJing at clubs, he began designing posters for them. Eventually, he joined illustration agencies like the Central Illustration agency in London and the New York agency Bernstein & Andriulli to represent him. The first thing you’ll notice about Chow’s illustrations is that there’s a retro feel to them. It comes from his love for old things, including music. As he tells us, “When I DJ, I still use vinyl. I don’t really listen to modern music. I find most music recorded after 1977 difficult to like, and that’s pretty much the core of why my work has retro leanings. I guess I’m just quite obsessed with things from the 60’s and 70‘s.”
Of course, fellow artists and illustrators have also influenced his style including a few of our favorites. When I was a teenager Norman Rockwell was probably my main inspiration. I tried to paint like him, but badly,” he openly shares. “The simplicity of Saul Bass is something I’ve always tried to incorporate in my work, too. I was also an avid comic book reader when I was younger; if I’d see anything by Bill Sienkienwicz or Mike Mignola I’d buy it. But more recently, Ian Bilbey and Jonas Bergstrand have been the most inspirational to me. They are both contemporary illustrators and we share the same agents. They both have quite retro styles, too. Having seen their work first hand, it gave me the confidence to take the leap from old fashioned painting to being fully digital. When I first saw their work, I thought ‘WOW!’, I can’t believe I’m on the same agency as these guys. I want to be as good as they are.”
You can buy his prints here.